James-Lange Theory of Emotion
- Ashley E. ColemanAffiliated withEmory University
- , John SnareyAffiliated withEmory University
First proposed by American psychologist James  and independently developed by Danish psychologist Lange , the James-Lange theory of emotion states that the immediate, primary cause of an emotion is physical. Bodily changes and physiological processes, which occur as a result of environmental stimuli, evoke certain feelings in the conscious mind. In this sense, emotions are bodily sensations or processes variously combined.
The James-Lange theory can be illustrated by the following anecdotes. A child sees her father walk into the room carrying her toys. She begins to grin, her heart beats a little faster, her pupils dilate, and she runs toward him. These bodily changes represent the emotion of excitement. In a different instance, a man walking down a deserted street at midnight hears footsteps behind him. He looks back and sees a large figure approaching. The man converts his walk into a run, he breathes more rapidly, his nostrils flare, hi ...
Reference Work Entry Metrics
- James-Lange Theory of Emotion
- Reference Work Title
- Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development
- pp 844-846
- Print ISBN
- Online ISBN
- Springer US
- Copyright Holder
- Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
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- Editor Affiliations
- 480. Neurology, Learning and Behavior Center
- 481. Department of Psychology MS 2C6, George Mason University
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Emory University, Psychology Building Faculty Box, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA
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